A Cup of Tea Please - a studie of cultural representation in English textbooks
Sammanfattning: The aim of this essay is to study how cultures are presented in English textbooks for A-level students in Sweden. The aim is divided into three research questions, what does culture in English teaching mean, how is the English-speaking world presented in the textbooks and is the image that is presented stereotyped or does it try to challenge it?The study comprises of four textbooks from 1998-2008. The theoretical frame used in the essay is Edward Said’s Orientalism. Results show that much of the focus is on countries from the inner circle of the English-speaking world and that foreign cultures are mostly represented in topics such as racism and ethnicity. People from minority cultures also appear in a context, where they are presented as unique since they do not fit in the average stereotype image connected with their culture. Hence minorities come to symbolize “the other”. The exercises in the textbooks focus to some extent on reflection about culture and comparisons between different countries, and their habits. The majority of the texts focus on the Western world, that is the US and Great Britain either because of the geographical location of the texts or because of the author.
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